2

Given To The Sea

I can’t even be bothered to remember who was in this book. None of the narrators are even the least bit interesting and so many are obsessed with getting Khosa pregnant so you know she can drown as a sacrifice. And even that doesn’t sound as depressing as it should, I don’t even know what is wrong with that world.

And that Khosa although I do think that being raised to think of this would have resulted in her being like this. But I never thought that it was too off, but what made it so incredibly off in my eyes. Was that she is bland as hell and doesn’t even bother trying to find anything out or even try to fulfill her destiny; you would think that being raised in such an environment would make her more willing to do what it takes. Not end up waiting for the one whose touch she can stand. Yeah, and all the other characters were almost just as bland but not as lacking in activeness as compared to Khosa.

There were four narrators; as for the complicated romance why do I even bother. As for the world, where the heck is it, and why the heck is it so twisted? And also, it is confusing, utterly pointless and too many things introduced in one time. To the point it overlaods me and I have nothing but a burning hatred for this book.

Vincent is the prince, or whatever. I didn’t find him interesting. Khosa is as lifeless and emotionless as she is in the book, and having zero ounce of personality. As for the three other narrators, why the hell are they there in the first place. None of them seemed to even make me wonder what this story was about and I found myself skimming most of the pages.

In other words, if you want a mermaid book or one about the sea, don’t look at this one.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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2

Splintered

This was quite a joy to read. It does definitely feel like a tale of Alice In Wonderland with plenty of spins and being carefully plotted, enough that it uses the old Wonderland but it’s different. Darker even.

And well, at least Alyssa is sensible enough to know what she is doing. Why she gets there is for perfectly good reasons, if you ask me. Since she doesn’t want her mother to be put on electrotherapy. Certainly a good reason. And she isn’t an idiot, she only has Alice In Wonderland to help her and the things she does figure out are pretty awesome.


Although the way the mental illness was dealt, it would have been less using straitjackets. It would have been a lot more counselling, perhaps even hynosis. I do not see a straightjacket, and sometimes mentally ill patients aren’t even commited. They are mostly allowed to stay at home, just as long as they visit the doctor’s regularly. And her case definitely seemed manageable, especially when it’s faked.

As for the love triangle here. I ship none of them. Both lies her, one is a knight in shining armour, he is basically that. And the other, is a manipulative bastard in his own right. What can I say? She deserves better.

The world building was the drawing point, as well as the writing. It seems that I am always a sucker for lyrical writing and writing that is simple but beautiful. And I can read it easily. And when it used Wonderland, I certainly saw a lot influences and really liked it. It is darker, but when it happened to Alice it was a lot more of coincidence, but to Alyssa, she was outright finding it.

I do recommend this book fro being different from the usual retelling, it is much more than that. It follows into the modern times, where there is a possible curse. And revealing the plot twist, the way it went and when it was. I enjoyed it. I didn’t see it coming.

However, there are undeniable issues here. Such as the problem of the way both Jeb and Morpheus really need to learn how to be civilized people, Jeb to lose his knight in shining armour attitude. But overall, I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it.

Rating: 3 out of 5

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A Court Of Mist And Fury

I have almost no hopes for this author. Especially since Queen of Shadows and I dnf Empire of Storms and A Court Of Thorns and Roses. And it didn’t disappoint. In the completely wrong way.

I still cannot even try to read the book, at best skim and some parts I read. But I just couldn’t find myself in it anymore. Why do I care about all these characters? I barely knew them. I barely knew every one of them.

I was only a quarter into A Court Of Thorns and Roses, and here I give up. There is virtually nothing attracting me to the series anymore, and I find myself scratching my head as to what was I reading. Other times, I could barely even bear to read it. Whether it is about them having sex, or the Fae or whatsoever. I don’t give a damn about any of them.

Because this work simply failed to pull me into it. And that’s all I have to say about it. Nothing about Feyre or Rhysand, nothing about their characters at all. Their romance was flat, what did I care to know what Rhysand gave her. There wasn’t really any tension. I was waiting for Tamlin to just appear way earlier and try different methods.

And in one of the chapters all of a sudden without warning I was reading about Rhysand. That just feels so strange. That just feels so weird. All of a sudden a change without really any clear indication at all. And there was nothing distinct about his voice, you could not even tell the difference should you compare.

I used to love Maas and held high hopes for her work. But with each disappointment, I think it has more to do with the time she is allocated to editing. I mean, she is releasing two huge books at the time without much time for her to edit. And really, I heard that the next book in throne of glass was written in a little over a week. I really don’t have any hopes that it would be decent in any way possible.

And now with this, I think I would be avoiding her for a while. A long good while. With this book, I give up on the series too. One book earlier than most since I can’t even find guilty pleasure.

Rating: 1 out of 5

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RoseBlood

This was a surprise of a book. Once I picked this up, strangely Rune became a very interesting character to read through. Since her gift is also her crutch at the same time, the only reason why she was accepted with a deeper meaning revealed towards the end. And the explanation regarding her entire background, felt so historical and at the same time interesting. 

While this retelling plays around with a phantom hundred of years after, which I greatly liked. Since it deals with all the creepy weird things which to me worked perfectly here. And that Thorn is mysterious, twisted but mysterious. And that I liked that the romance went slow, to them slowly meeting, slowly figuring everything out about them. And all the clues. Since I wouldn’t see them meeting under normal circumstances, 

As for the actual phantom and what he did, such as having Christine for a short period. Actually liking the way it went, where everything didn’t end well for them. And it drove him into further obsession, which I liked the way it was. Even pushing him to get Thorn. 

As for the musical inclination, any book would have gotten into me with just that. It just feels so right, and when her gift both suffocates and glorifies her at the same time. I really enjoyed it, the way that there was so much of exploration of opera. Of music and of her talent. As for the reveal towards the end, I feel that it was rather fitting to have regarding her talents. 

Even more so, her doubts are completely believable. The way that she her father died, the way she nearly killed someone. That was believable in my account that she would stop playing. 

However, I do feel that the issues of this book lies on the fact that his mother feels as though she’s a sex worker just because she had a child out of wedlock. That’s just wrong, really. It feels off. While the romance was on point, and the atmosphere captured me, this just doesn’t sound good at all. Also, where Erik takes him to the whorehouse and forces him to do all that. Yeah, I feel that it’s wrong too. 

Overall, I would say this book is creepy and rather gothic. Precisely the retelling of the Phantom of the Opera I was looking for, but there are issues that cannot be ignored. I would say that the romance captivated me, and the music was the one thing that kept me reading. So, pick it up and just see it for yourself. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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The Forbidden Wish 

I would say that it lives up as a retelling. Except that it explores the story from another perspective, and instead of getting the jinni we see in Aladdin. It is instead, about the female jinni. 

And all the while, I really enjoyed the way the world was structured and explored. The myths and folklores, some of which Zahra had a hand in it herself. All the more, it was about the forbidden wish. Exploring a possibility, what would happen when a jinni could be set free. 

The ending nicely ends everything. All the while the twists are revealed nicely, and at the right moment. Whether is it about the jinni or about the world as it stands. 

To also being able Zahra and how badly she wants to be free. I mean, it’s logical since you have been locked into a lamp for a very long time(three thousand years.) 

All the while, the princess managed to keep my attention as did Aladdin. Both wanted something, the princess would have done anything for her kingdom. That is what I call a future Queen. And she didn’t find having to marry a horrible man that terrible a price as long as it remained safe. As for Aladdin where he initially wants revenge, he initially wants to marry a princess. Then eventually, becomes in love with the jinni. It is so gradual, and so subtle. Even with very little declarations when they decide to sacrifice themselves for each other, it feels strangely logical. That Aladdin was willing to pay the price for Zahra’s freedom, and she in his stead willing to help him many times. 

And so, I would say that the characters who are introduced eventually had a larger role to play. Such as the jinni who was captured, to the vizier and Darian. All of them had a role, and eventually were rather well developed. 

This novel isn’t just made up of Aladdin and Zahra, it had other characters who shone. And everything had a consequence and a price, all of it coming back. 

So, I would recommend this to those who have longed for retelling. And at the same time, is a really good piece of work with a good balance between the characters and the plot.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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Bright Smoke, Cold Fire


Clearly not what I expected, and quite underwhelming. After two great books from this author, this was meh. I didn’t have that melodramatic atmosphere which I lawyer experienced with her books, and the romance itself was quite intriguing. 

I do admit that it is more interesting with how she took Romeo and Juliet and spinned together such a tale of necromancers, clans fighting for power in the only living city in the world. 

To me, Runajo, had been a rather interesting character. Juliet barely had any personality in my opnion, but I could see why she loved Romeo above all else. Let’s face it, he’s the only decent guy among her many kinsmen, and they are not the brightest either. 

Paris, he was okay. Though he not being in love with Juliet was what I got here, and well I understand too. It is much less of the tragic romance, but more of the dark magic and reality it is. Runajo, had been what made me interested, she had been what really carried the story really.

Romeo, and Paris didn’t interest me as much, but Runajo had the most development, even more than Juliet, who frankly is a flat character and shape little nuances. Runajo despite trying to make herself ruthless, has a heart deep beneath which interested me quite a not in her character. And her chapters, had been the most exciting for me. 

Although, I do admit that it was quite a letdown on my part. But there are still points where I believe is a step away from her usual melodrama and romance, and creating something else here which do have much for improvement but also some enjoyable characters and scenes. 

So, I would think that you should read this with a fresh mind. I was disappointed but also liked some characters at the same time, and for once this wouldn’t end like most, with a sequel to come, which I would still look forward to. 

Rating: 3 out of 5

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Barefoot On The Wind 


A retelling that I recommend. In fact, almost any retelling I would recommend from this author. She makes it a completely different story but still decent, and one that you will enjoy with her careful research, her descriptions and her characters.

Hana, one again I could feel her struggle. She is still blaming herself for her father’s death and did everything for it, such as taking on all the roles regardless of gender. Which to me is a sign of strength, you don’t find her complaining or even loathing her father for it. She is just doing all she can for the family, which to me felt connectable with the traditions and expectations. 

As for Itsuki, I do admit that this was actually someone that managed to find his own mistakes. Even if he didn’t do anything to prevent it, and really reflected about his own deeds. And he’s a male character that had done wrong and admitted it, and at least saw where he went wrong in. Also he shared some points with the original beast in beauty and the beast. Both were arrogant and felt entitled. 

As for the yuki-onna. I do like the curse that she laid upon them, her anger all she felt was realistic to me. And I might be thinking about the snow queen, seeing as how they are basically equivalents though I wonder whether the author might head in that direction next. After all, all her retellings have been on point and taking a twist with the actual characters. Hana is not a beauty, but she is a strong and self-reliant young woman although she did not read as much as Belle did. 

As for the retelling, the villagers are the servants of the house, all cursed upon with them just that they tend to be more cowardly. And the curse itself, laid by Oyuki can be quite similar to what the Beast he himself had done. Although the snow maiden and a witch is quite far apart. 

But I did enjoy the slow pace as it allowed me to grasp on Hana, and the story being a lot more on her development since she runs most of the changes. What happens later with her and the villagers have to be one of the best quotes in the book so far yet. As well as with Oyuki. And her goal to save her father from her own family. That had been what she had done as well. 

As for the ending, it is perfect. Tied up all loose holes and left everything as it is. But not without a nice ending that I enjoyed. 

Overall, I recommend this to those who have been fascinated with Japanese culture and always have been frustrated with the inaccuracies of certain books. And also, those who love retellings and want to see a feminist character that doesn’t whine to you about her life. 

Rating: 4.5 out of 5